Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy
cathy_edgett

What we carry -

There is a wonderful book by Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried.  I recommend it.  It is about a platoon of American soldiers during the Vietnam War and what they carry.  It is a powerful book.

I was reminded of it yesterday because I was talking to a friend, to Lee, about pressure I was feeling about a "report" I needed to write for a group I am in.  I've been struggling with words of late, actually found myself doing charades during a word game I was playing on Christmas Day.  I want to convey information with the whole of myself, and words are feeling limiting these days, which is why my posts have been minimal of late.  I do write my death poems, though I don't post them here.

Anyway, this word "pressure" is huge when one pauses to consider it.  Notice now.  Do you feel pressure about something you feel you are meant to do?

When I let myself feel the pressure in my heart around this "project", I could feel expansiveness, a letting go.  I could be with what was happening, just noticing.  What came up was the pressure I feel around traumas that were my parents, my father being shot down during WWII and handed over to the SS and being in a prisoner of war camp.  I could feel what it was for my mother to have her brother fighting in Europe during WWII,  not knowing if he was dead or alive.

I stayed with all this, noticing my breath, looking at the pressure, being with curiosity.  Can I be curious about what is happening now?  Just now, this moment, only this?  Lee asked: "How do I trust my own experience?"  "Do I feel that nothing will happen if I don't do it?"

Can I simply "be with"?

Lately I've been with the word "simplicity", desiring simplicity.  I want to "carry" less.  I began this year with the word "receptivity". I wanted to better listen, to "receive".

Now I sit with "being with".  Lee says the way to work with trauma, which we all have, no matter how gentle, beautiful, or even simple, our lives are, and have been, is this: "Be deeply tender, kind, curious, and attentive."

I offer her words to you on this last day of the year, a day we release to beckon the new, but in that, I believe we must also honor the past.  My mantra for this new year is: BE DEEPLY TENDER, KIND, CURIOUS, AND ATTENTIVE."   May those words carry me gently, tenderly, attentively, and curiously along this new path that opens before, with, and in me, each moment, each breath.
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